Growth Hacking Interview Series #20: Joseph Gojo Cruz

Joseph Gojo Cruz, is an up and coming digital marketing practitioner residing in Manila.

He has been doing SEO since 2011 and a contributor to Search Engine Journal and AHrefs.

In this interview he will answer a new list of questions designed for a deeper understanding of his tactics in SEO.

There has been reports of Google not being moral see: Seroundtable.com for penalizing webmasters what is your view on this?

While the article source was admirably good and pretty long, I still don’t agree that Google is not being moral when penalizing websites due to the following reasons:

  • Google’s goal is to provide better user experience to search users.
  • Google aims to deliver the best results that are relevant to search users.
  • Google dislike link-focused development tactics to rank in organic search.

If Google penalizes a website for whatever reasons, these reasons may probably against their search guidelines such as, manipulated approach or intentional link acquisition.

It’s just the community who always over react when Google do something to shake the people in the industry because they always expect to see boost in their KPIs.

It would seem that nowadays businesses that has a bigger budget has more chances of ranking in Google based on the recent link building survey of Skyrocket in Moz. How do you think businesses with very small budgets approach this dilemma?

Regardless of link building survey of Skyrocket in MOZ, I don’t think big time businesses are outranking their small time competitors because they have a bigger budget.

Ranking in Google is not about the money but it is about quality, relevancy, recency, authority and more.

Even if a website is a small time business, if it can provide better resources, user experience and if it can convert visitors to leads than their competitors, that would be great.

  • I suggest to businesses with a tight budget for marketing purposes is to produce evergreen content format that can benefit their audience in the long run.
  • Design their websites that are compatible for mobile and tablet devices.
  • Stay active in social media and keep engaging with their target audience.

If you were given the chance to head the spam team of Google what would you change or improve upon?

Google spam team have been working really hard to make sure the webpages in search results contain only the most relevant results to search users query but in some cases, I still see some irrelevant websites ranking in top pages of organic results in a certain search query.

So if I were given a chance to head the spam team of Google, I would make sure that the manual actions team will make sure that the search results will be spam free results.

Although it is far beyond reality as of now, it is something to look forward to for the benefits of their search users.

What is the fastest way to earn in SEO that works 100% all the time? (ex: affiliate marketing, CPA, Service provider)

I don’t earn a lot from my career like others do. I have not tried affiliate marketing yet, and I can’t tell how much you can earn from it but one thing I know for sure is service provider works 100% all the time.

Although it is not the fastest way I to earn in SEO, it is for long term, and the potential earning possibility is just tremendous.

How do you see yourself ten years from now?

I look forward to be doing consultancy, speaking in events and meeting with clients in the more years to come.

I don’t see myself changing career or doing other works anytime soon or years from now because of the opportunities in the search industry, the challenges and chances to meet smart people like Jason Acidre, Gary Viray, Valery Joy Deveza and many more.

What is the major flaw of SEO’s nowadays?

I honestly think that the major flaw of SEOs nowadays is still the poor quality link development.

Some SEOs believe that if you develop more links, rankings will follow, but this is not how it goes in search industry. Also, the misleading information of SEOs to their clients.

Some SEOs believe that if you rank number 1 or higher in organic search, your conversion will increase as well.

If you weren’t an SEO what would you be today?

This one is tough but thanks for adding in the list! To be honest, I don’t really know but I have a feeling that I would be doing clerical work if I were not an SEO.

I started working in Manila as an Administrative assistant for a Security Agency that provides guards in Makati, BPIs and Ayala Companies and If I didn’t accidentally move to Endlessrise Inc, I probably would not be doing SEO today.

Google is leaning more towards Mobile SEO with the disappearance of author photos in searches, how should SEO’s nowadays approach SEO given its more competitive nature to begin with?

Google is paying attention to increasing mobile search browsing recently and it is obvious that they wanted to give better user experience their mobile search users; this means, having a responsive website is highly ideal for most websites out there.

But of course, it is important that you optimized your website for mobile search users.

To learn more about mobile optimization, Gary Viray interviewed the experts in the field.

Can you suggest any book, video, person, website that keeps you inspired in doing SEO?

I’m not a big fan of books and videos, but person, I suggest following Neil Patel, Noah Kagan and Eli Overbey and Jason Acidre.

Those four people keep me inspired and become more interested doing and learning more about SEO.

Can you point us to the best SEO case studies that you ever encountered?

The best studies I encountered so far were the study of inbound marketing of KISSMetrics by Noah.

Knowing that one of the people behind the success of KISSMetrics is Neil, it was hard to believe that the website had some technical issues that should be resolved for better search performance.

The study pointed out the rooms for improvement of the KISSMetrics and it highlighted the recommendations should be implemented on the website such as:

Setting up 301 redirect

Removing duplicate content

With regards to Social Media just how much power do you think it has to replace traditional link-building techniques?

Social media is very powerful in terms of traffic generations, engagement, awareness and more but I don’t think it has the power as of this day to replace the traditional link building for due to the following reasons:

For local search market, getting links from business submission sites like Yelp, Google Places, Yahoo, Bing and more is definitely crucial because they help big and small businesses get local signals and permanent link that can benefits local business in the long run.

For newly launched websites, getting links from trusted websites like edu, org or gov can be really helpful boost its ranking-ability in organic search.

This is also Since search engines like Google recognize web links as a signal for websites, getting quality, and relevant web links can highly be rewarded in organic results than websites with just social interactions.

However, this does not mean that we should focus more on developing web links, I’m just saying that social media is just one channel we can get traffic from and social media alone can’t help a website reach its target audience in their respective market industry.

Could you give me a list of SEO tools that you can’t live without?

SEO Tools help make the life of an SEO easier but the truth is, I don’t use a lot of tools when doing SEO because I don’t always try out them whenever I see in any articles I see online.

But here is the list of tools I can’t live without when doing SEO:

  • Screaming frog, of course!
  • MOZ Bar, Yes!
  • Ahrefs,
  • Open Site Explorer
  • Keyword Planner
  • Google Webmaster Tools
  • Google Analytics
  • HREF check my links for BLB

As of this moment, those are the tools I can’t live without.

Though those are insufficient, those are the tools that I use when doing website analysis, link building, link prospecting, market research and more!

Can you tell me your biggest failure in an SEO project?

I remember launching list type articles for various industry such as, Human Resources Canada, Australia, Mortgage Professional Australia, USA and Canada that featured different experts and highly recognized companies in their industry.

The article was written for seasonal purposes, and its main goal is to reward the featured experts and companies in their industry.

Although the article met the deadline and it reached all featured entities in the article, I consider this being failed as it didn’t benefit the website in the long run because my KPI on those list type articles were visits, links and exposure.

But since the promotional phase and approach on those articles were not enough, it didn’t achieve the KPIs I aimed.

In what areas of SEO are you strongest? And In what areas of SEO are you weakest?

I’ve been in the search industry for roughly four years now. I’ve been exposed to both on-page and off-page, and my main focus is both but I can’t say both are my strongest.

I think my strongest is the analysis and my weakest is the uniqueness.

Why?

Analysis – On-page SEO requires analytical knowledge to identify the problems of that are causing the website to have poor search performance.

Since all websites have different needs in terms of technical, design and KPIs on their own way, I exposed myself in this section and continuously learning more about it.

Uniqueness – I mentioned it as my weakest because I don’t develop my very own approach.

There are tons of tactics that can be applied on various industries, and I just asses their approach and copy the most ideal tactics suited for the websites.

I’m sure every SEOs out there know that having a strategic approach in marketing a business online has the best opportunity to outrank and outstand their competitors in their industry.

Just imagine how Ello.co promotes their newly launched website? Since Ello is a social media site, reaching their target audience from their competitor like Facebook is a good start.

While Ello can successfully drive Facebooks users to using Ello, I don’t believe Ello can outstand Facebook anytime soon.

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